♪ hello there, welcome to "newsline." it's friday, january 30th. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. another deadline set by islamic state militants in the hostage crisis has expired and there's no word on the japanese or jordanian they're holding. they demanded a prisoner swap but leaders in jordan wanted proof their citizen is still alive. >> yesterday that jordan is willing to exchange sajida al rishawi with the jordanian pilot moaz al kasasbeh. at this point we want to
emphasize that we have asked for a proof of life from daesh and we have not received anything as of yet. we need a proof of life so we can proceed with what we announced yesterday regarding the exchange between sajida al rishawi and the jordanian pilot. >> a jordanian court sentenced rishawi to death for her role in bomb attacks in amman in 2005. the minister says the prisoner is still in jordan. he says they are ready to exchange her for the pilot as soon as they get proof he is alive. militants purporting to be with islamic state had set a deadline of sunset in iraq thursday. they relayed the demand through their captive, japanese journalist kenji goto. the message said if rishawi is not brought to the turkish border, jordanian pilot moaz kasasbeh will be killed. the jordanian minister says his government and their japanese counterparts are in a difficult situation.
>> we are in constant contact and coordination with our japanese friends in order to coordinate the effort to secure the japanese hostage as well. >> officials in tokyo are closely watching developments in amman. but they say they don't have any new details on negotiations between the jordanian government and islamic state militants. foreign minister fumio kishida says japanese officials will continue to work with their counterparts in jordan to free goto. >> translator: the deadline of sunset local time, which was mentioned in the latest video message, seems to have passed. but we have no new information to tell you at this time. we are working in various ways, including gathering information, but we have not obtained any
more details regarding the release of the captives. goto's wife has spoken out for the first time but not by her own choice. she released an audio message apparently at the request of the group that's holding her husband hostage. here are some excerpts of that recording. >> i am the wife of kenji goto. our baby girl was only 3 weeks old when he left. i hope our oldest daughter, who is just 2, will get to see her father again. i want them both to grow up knowing their father. my husband is a good and honest man who went to syria to show the plight of those who suffer. in the past 20 hours the kidnappers have sent me what appears to be their latest and final demand. it said you must publicize and expose this message to the world media now, otherwise kenji will be next.
if sajida is not on the turkish border ready for the exchange for kenji by thursday 29th january at sunset, the jordanian pilot will be executed immediately. >> she said she's praying for his life and the life of the jordanian pilot. goto's mother junko ishido spoke from her tokyo home shortly after the deadline expired. >> translator: i'm disappointed. but i just can't feel helpless. we have to think how the captors will follow through their promise to release my son. we can't just give up hope. >> she said she awaits her son's safe return. family members of the jordanian pilot have also made a plea to the militants. they spoke in the capital of
amman after nightfall and called for support from inside and outside their nation. >> translator: i would like to ask for the assistance of all the world's people, under the name of all jordanian tribes and palestinians for our son moaz kasasbeh to be released safely. >> the militants are demanding jordanian authorities bring a prisoner to what they described as the turkish border. turkey's border with iraq stretches nearly 400 kilometers. its border with syria over 900. islamic state members released hostages last year in turkish territory near syria. they chose locations near two key crossing points. the towns of akcakale and kilis. nhk crew members are in akcakale standing by for new developments.
our correspondent hideki nakayama tells us the situation there. >> reporter: i'm at the checkpoint of akcakale on the turkish side at the border with syria. the deadline reportedly released by islamic statement in the demands for their death row inmate rishawi to be released by has passed. but here at the border we have not seen anything new. beyond this point the area on the other side is said to be under the control of islamic state. japanese journalist kenji goto is believed to have been captured near the syrian city of raqaa. that's just 90 kilometers south of where i'm standing. this is the closest turkish checkpoint to raqaa. japanese and international media have their crews and reporters standing by, watching for any developments. last year when islamic state militants attacked the turkish consulate in the city of mosul, the 49 turkish diplomats taken
hostage were eventually released near this checkpoint. as the deadline has passed, people here in turkey are also watching closely how the situation develops. hideki nakayama, nhk world on the turkish/syrian border. leaders from the european union are stepping up measures to stop the spread of terrorism on their home turf. they've agreed to tighten border controls using passenger name records, or pnr, to block people connected with extremist groups from entering the eu. >> we are working very swiftly in order, finally, to have an eu pnr. today we've found out that all member states agree with this guideline. >> the announcement came at the end of an eu meeting of home affairs and justice ministers. ministers also agreed to tighten restriction on the internet.
they plan to ask for cooperation from web-related companies so radical ideas will not spread among young people through social media. member states will continue discussions on how to improve the exchange of information on arms trafficking and financial sources for terrorism. eu officials are trying to strengthen anti-terrorism measures in the wake of recent deadly attacks by islamic extremists in paris and elsewhere. the subject will be high on the agenda at an eu summit next month. fighting in eastern ukraine between pro-russian separatists and government forces has intensified despite a truce. the battles are centered around a key railway hub that's currently controlled by government forces. the truce was agreed on in september. separatists are trying to lay siege to the strategic town of dibeltseve near donetsk. ukrainian government officials say five soldiers and three civilians were killed between wednesday through thursday.
in the latest developments the separatists have sent tanks to a town near diveltseve where they launched an attack against military forces. foreign ministry officials in belarus have arranged a meeting to discuss compliance with the truce. representatives from the ukrainian government, the separatists, russia, and the organization for security and cooperation in europe will gather in the capital minsk on friday. the meeting had been scheduled for mid january but was canceled after the fighting intensified. people who track the japanese economy are crunching some key numbers that came out this morning. government officials have released data on consumer prices and household spending. ai uchida joins us now from the business desk. ai, tell us what's the story behind the numbers? >> catherine, as you know leaders have been trying to reverse decades of deflation and economic stagnation. they want prices to rise and consumers to spend more but the latest batch of data gives a mixed picture of the economy.
prices are rising but more slowly and household spending is falling. but factory output is up. officials at the internal affairs ministry say consumer prices rose 2.5% in december from a year earlier. that is the 19th straight monthly increase. but cheaper oil is slowing the rise. december was the fifth consecutive month when prices have risen more slowly. the officials don't factor in fresh food prices for produce are unstable and distort the result. the officials estimate without the consumption tax hike in april consumer prices would have risen by about 0.5%. and the officials say household spending in the same month was down for the ninth month in a row. it was down 3.4% in yen terms from a year earlier. analysts didn't expect it to fall all that much. the officials say households with two or more members spend an average of about $2,800 in december. now, plant managers across japan
are seeing more activity on their factory floors. government officials say industrial output in december rose for the first time in two months. economy ministry officials say production was up 1% from november. the officials say output increased in 11 of the 15 sectors they surveyed. they say the rise was especially strong for laptop computers, car navigation devices, and semiconductor equipment. the officials expect overall output to rise by 6.3% in january and fall 1.8% in february. now, separately, internal affairs ministry officials say the jobless rate in december was down a bit from november at 3.4%. that's the lowest in more than 17 years. the number of people with jobs rose by 380,000 from a year earlier. they now total about 63.6 million. the number of unemployed people was down 150,000 to about 2.1
million. people looking for work had a slightly better month. labor ministry officials say the ratio of job offers to those looking for work was up 0.03 points from november to 1.15. that means there were 115 positions available for every 100 people seeking employment. now, following these figures, tokyo share prices opened higher. some say market sentiment is improved by the strong jobs data. the nikkei index trading higher by 1%. investors also cheered by overnight gains on wall street as well as a weaker yen. let's take a look at weaker currencies. the dollar is trading higher against the yen. many traders buying the u.s. currency as weekly jobless claims fell to the lowest level in nearly 15 years. the euro that's also stronger against the yen this morning. and that is after the single currency went higher against the swiss franc on speculation the swiss national bank will intervene. let's take a look at other
markets in the asia pacific region. south korea's kospi trading higher up by a third percent this morning. in australia the benchmark index is higher as well. up almost 3/4 percent. looks like a pretty positive start to our friday morning here. i'll leave with you a check on some other market figures. ♪ ♪
police in mexico city suspect a gas leak may have caused a powerful explosion at a maternity hospital. the blast killed at least two people and injured dozens of others. the explosion occurred on thursday morning. the hospital is located in the western part of the capital. officials say a recently born baby was among the dead. 66 other people were injured. with more than 20 of them in serious condition. police say firefighters were investigating a gas leak at the time of the blast. they say the leak occurred while a tanker truck was filling the hospital's storage tanks. a building under construction has collapsed in the indian capital of new delhi. one worker was killed.
the incident comes amid a surge of new construction. the collapse occurred in the city's east kidwei nagar area. >> translator: i heard three were injured and one person died. >> local media say workers were digging a basement at the time of the accident. a witness said the victims were buried under loose soil. the cause of the collapse is unknown. in india economic growth is fueling a construction boom. last june dozens of people were killed when a building going up in the southern city of chen mai suddenly crumbled. observers say many accidents occur because safety standards are often ignored. india's foreign ministry has seen a high-level shake-up. prime minister that rend rah modi has replaced his foreign secretary with the ambassador to the united nations. he took over on thursday as new foreign secretary. his predecessor, sujita singh, was appointed by the former
administration. >> as i take over i'm happy to work with all of you. i know the media has an important part of our public policy protection. >> modi visited the u.s. last september and hosted president obama in india this month. the u.s. leader was guest of honor for republic day. one of the country's most important holidays. observers say the invitation reflected modi's enthusiasm to show off the closeness of u.s.-india ties. new foreign secretary jaishankar helped modi's diplomacy in his previous role as ambassador. modi has asserted himself in shaping india's foreign relations. he surprised the world last may by inviting the pakistani prime minister and other regional leaders to his inauguration ceremony. he's also been quick to seek out high-profile meetings with other leaders including japanese prime minister shinzo abe. indonesian investigators
have shed more light on last month's airasia crash. they say the co-pilot was at the controls when the plane plunged into the java sea. the plane was carrying more than 160 people. officials from indonesia's national transportation safety committee say the co-pilot was french. they say the captain was sitting beside him and monitoring his work. investigators say the co-pilot was flying at 32,000 feet then made a steep climb to avoid clouds. they say the plane ascended 3,000 feet in 30 seconds, then stalled and crashed into the java sea. the aircraft had taken off from the indonesian city of surabaya bound for singapore. it was carrying 162 people. 70 bodies have been recovered. investigators say they'll keep analyzing the contents of the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder. malaysian government officials have been investigating the circumstances
of another lost plane. and they've declared the disappearance last march of malaysia airlines flight 370 an accident. they say the decision will help speed up the compensation process for relatives. the passenger jet was carrying 239 people when it vanished during a flight from kuala lumpur to beijing. a team led by the australian government has been searching the indian ocean looking for any signs of the aircraft. but the plane hasn't been located after nearly a year. an official with malaysia's aviation authority said on state-run tv the possibility of survival for the people on board is very low based on available information. >> the government of malaysia assures that malaysia airlines will undertake their responsibilities in relation to the legitimate rights and interests of the next of kin as provided under the relevant international instruments and
relevant domestic laws. with due consideration to international practice. >> government leaders say they'll keep searching, but the families of some passengers say they do not accept the declaration as there is no firm evidence. some strawberry producers in japan are looking for a way to sweeten their bottom line. they've developed fruit that packs a lot of flavor and they're now figuring out how to get it into the mouths of new customers around the world. >> reporter: this is not a strawberry. it's a skyberry. bigger, sweeter, juicier. and a lot more expensive, too. almost $5 apiece. not so outrageous in japan where fruit often serves as an upscale gift for special occasions.
the skyberry is one of the flagship products of tochigi, the most famous region for japanese strawberries. despite the hefty price, it's been selling well since it hit the market in 2012. so much so, producers now want to ship their little red queens to the kingdom of la cuisine -- france. >> translator: i hope our strawberries can spread their wings and go on sale outside japan. >> reporter: shipping strawberries halfway across the world is a difficult challenge. it takes just a few days for the fruit to start losing its luster. and it's also extremely delicate. that's why producers enlisted the help of researchers at a local university to develop the best possible packaging. the team devised a simple design, a resin base, a thin cushion and a protective shell.
the stem is pinned to the base so the strawberry doesn't move around. it can even withstand being turned upside down. the next step was a comparative crash test. here are the results with a standard package. special lighting reveals considerable damage. and here's what a skyberry looks like after being dropped in its protective shell. safe and sound. last year a first batch of skyberries was sent to france.
the outcome was promising. the fruit showed no traces of damage, and it still looked fresh after ten days. the question now is will it sell. remember, one skyberry costs about $5. add two more for the shell and shipping and handling and the price tag in france will reach $15 per unit. the leaders of the project say they're quite optimistic. >> translator: i think our best chance is to market the skyberry as something completely different from traditional strawberries. >> reporter: producers will now be counting on the high expectations of french palates to take the skyberry even higher. >> certainly does look good. it's time now for a check of the weather. people in tokyo are bundling up before they head out into the snow. meteorologist robert speta joins us with more. >> yes. tokyo at this time is getting its typically once a year
snowstorm out here. at least you don't see it all that often. you have a decent amount of accumulation on the ground. and what typically happens is you have the southern coast low. a storm comes in from the southwest. they typically come in from the northwest, the mountains of central japan usually stop that. and what we have been seeing with this latest system is first it brought some rain-snow mix across kyushu shikoku and now it has moved into the cato area including downtown tokyo. let's get some video we have coming out of the area where yes, people are out there. they have their umbrellas. they have their snow boots. they have their coats ready, and it has already been coming down. about two centimeters has accumulated here just outside of tokyo station is the official report for the tokyo area. there has been over 60 flights canceled. trains still look like they're running on time. but it's going to be a slick day out there on the roads for people that are driving in to work during your morning hours. big question is how long is this
going to be lasting? i don't think it actually is going to be a day-long event if you are in the metro area. what's happening is you have your low coming in from the southwest. that's pushing off toward the northeast. but a warm front is pushing through. so still in central tokyo up to five centimeters could be seen but by the afternoon hours it's going to be change over to rain. so any snow that's on the ground will be turning into akind of a slushy mixture before this pulls away toward the northeast. still in the higher elevations it will continue to pile up across ports of tohoku into hokkaido. you could see as much as 30 centimeters of snowfall. i think eastern hokkaido that's going to be combined with the winds. we're looking at some blizzard conditions for a few of you out here. still in the downtown area and even extending to the coast. five to eight centimeters. the closer you get to the coast the less likely you're going to be seeing any decent accumulation, maybe just a few flurries, but farther inland that's where you're still going to be seeing the snowfall through the rest of the day and even into the evening hours. let's take a look at your
temperatures. tokyo with a high of 3. still having the snow showers here in the morning hours. seoul up to 1. partly cloudy skies. but if you think it's cold where you are, ulan bator, minus 12 there. sunny skies. but i'm sure that's not really helping out very much with those temperatures well below the freezing point. over toward europe now, we still have the low pressure area centered in the scandinavian peninsula but around it just a massive circulation continuing to kick up snowfall down toward germany. we actually have some video coming out of england and scotland where it's really just been coming down. just a widespread blanket of snowfall across this area causing flights to be grounded. very hazardous driving conditions. actually snow plows were the only things seen there at the manchester airport. and despite the call for dangerous conditions you can see cars just backed up on the roads, people trying to push out, and it does look like those conditions continuing to linger
with the system, even some thunderstorms kicking up down toward the south contradiction see that possibility of tornadoes into southern italy especially. water spouts just off the coastline. wrapping things up into the americas. still the alberta clipper off toward the northeast. but another low is actually developing in the southwest. that's going to bring persistent rain showers actually and even some snow. in the higher elevations out here for some of you, especially across the southern rockies. all right. that's a look at your world weather. i'll leave you with your extended forecast. ♪
of year and the target is a state-owned company. japanese workers are asking for pay rises. some companies are ready to say yes. hello. you're watching asia biz forecast. i'm yuko fukushima. chinese premier is headlineing our program today. he's told world leaders his government is determined the forge ahead with economic